Monday, October 22, 2007
Count me among those who read this Kevin Drum post, wanted to write something about it, and simply felt like I'd already said everything there is to say so many times in similar contexts that I just kind of let the whole thing pass. The collective silence led Kevin to wonder why the story's not getting any legs:
Long story short, the FBI screwed up, forced a confession out of an innocent man, and then the evidence of the forced confession was redacted from the court opinion on the case. That sure seems like a juicy story, but it's not getting much play today.
I get the feeling there's a certain amount of "outrage fatigue" that's gathered on some of these stories. We've reached the phase where the initial shock of finding out that we're torturing confessions out of prisoners, both innocent and guilty, has now worn off. The problem is that that initial shock mainly succeeded in changing our definition of, and not our fundamental policy towards, torture.
"America still tortures prisoners" just doesn't have the same impact as "America tortures prisoners". Worse still, it aggravates the sense of powerlessness that comes from being unable to stop our highest ideals from being trampled on in the name of protecting our highest ideals. But Kevin's right. It's worth a mention.